Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Book Reviews: Rules

By Cynthia Lord
Reviewed by Tristan K., age 11, California
Published by Scholastic Corporation
For ages 8 and up


Rules is about a 12-year-old girl named Catherine, who has an autistic brother. She makes up rules for him to follow, such as, “No toys in the fish tank,” and “Keep your pants on in public.” The rules are so that David, her brother, won’t embarrass her and will learn how to behave in public. In other words, these rules are her attempt to control her life.

When the family’s next-door neighbor moves away, Catherine finally gets a new neighbor who is her age. She hopes her life might be like the ones in the books she reads, sending Morse code signals from their bedroom windows by flashlight. She wants to be “normal,” and she believes that with her new next-door neighbor, she now has a chance. However, she soon has to choose between loyalty to her autistic brother, a new friend she meets who is in a wheelchair and can only speak by pointing to words written on cards, and her next-door neighbor.

This book was very sad, but there were some good parts as Catherine learns what really matters to her. I recommend this book to people ages 8 and up.